pa·​nache | \pə-ˈnash, -ˈnäsh \

Definition of panache 

1 : an ornamental tuft (as of feathers) especially on a helmet The palace guard had a panache on his helmet.

2 : dash or flamboyance in style and action : verve flashed his … smile and waved with the panache of a big-city mayor— Joe Morgenstern

Illustration of panache

Illustration of panache

panache 1

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Did You Know?

Few can match the panache of French poet and soldier Cyrano de Bergerac. In his dying moments, he declared that the one thing left to him was his panache, and that assertion at once demonstrates the meaning of the word and draws upon its history. Panache derives via Middle French from Late Latin pinnaculum, meaning "small wing" or "gable," a root that also gave English the word pinnacle. In both French and English, panache originally referred to a showy, feathery plume on a hat or helmet; its "dashing" figurative sense developed from the verve and swagger of one bold enough to wear such an adornment in public. When the dying Cyrano turned his huge nose heavenward and spoke of his panache, his nose became the literal and figurative pinnacle of a multifaceted pun.

Examples of panache in a Sentence

She played the role of hostess with great panache.

Recent Examples on the Web

Overall: If getting from A to B doesn't involve style or panache, Accent is a solid choice. Kelsey Mays, USA TODAY, "Review: Hyundai Accent is all work and no show," 4 May 2018 Silly songs are a staple of the septet’s multi-faceted repertoire -- and this song stands out on sheer panache. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "BTS' 50 Best Songs: Critics' Picks," 12 June 2018 With poise and panache, Machado smoothly spent 10 minutes saying little in a manner that said a lot, eschewing details but further establishing himself as the kind of superstar who hardly would shy away from the spotlight. David Haugh,, "Manny Machado, the ideal Cub, handles hoopla over arrival like superstar he is," 22 May 2018 That Afghans play cricket at all—and play it with skill and panache—is due entirely to the war that Moscow thrust upon them. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "War Brought Cricket to Afghanistan," 13 June 2018 Upon replacing Carlo Ancelotti, meastro of all things man management, Blanc was criticised for an inability to keep egos in check - a prerequisite for any big team - as well as persisting with a style that lacked verve and panache., "Why Laurent Blanc is the Worst Possible Managerial Choice for Chelsea in 2018," 8 June 2018 For its second annual Maison St-Germain fete, the luxury liqueur brand tapped stylist Kate Young to bring a bit of Parisian panache to Little Beach House Malibu on Tuesday night. Ericka Franklin | Wwd,, "Dakota Johnson, Nina Dobrev party with Kate Young, Maison St-Germain guests in Malibu," 11 July 2018 There are mysterious powers that determine that Michael and Jennifer and Jacob and Emily will never lose their panache, while Ethel and Edith and Edmund and Guy will seemingly never regain theirs. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "Destined to be dowdy forever? The difficulty of being named 'Donna' in 2018," 7 July 2018 Yes, the building will be a majestic hub that will bring employees and panache to Corktown. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Fords step up to transform Detroit again. Now just one more thing: I want a train," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'panache.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of panache

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for panache

Middle French pennache, from Old Italian pennacchio, from Late Latin pinnaculum small wing — more at pinnacle

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Statistics for panache

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for panache

The first known use of panache was in 1553

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English Language Learners Definition of panache

: lots of energy and style

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